Edited by: Jessica Merritt
& Stella Shon
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If you’re looking at travel insurance policies, you may feel overwhelmed by the seemingly endless number of options. Some of the names of insurance providers will sound familiar; others you’ve likely never heard of. If you’re wondering about the first step for narrowing down your options, choosing a well-known name like Nationwide could be a good start.
Nationwide began in Ohio as Farm Bureau Mutual Automobile Insurance Company, selling its first policy (automobile insurance) in 1926. Thus, the company has nearly a century of insurance experience. It’s a household name at this point, meaning you can trust that it knows how to process claims should you need to submit one and isn’t likely to give you the headaches of a company that just started and needs to work out a few kinks. Nationwide and its subsidiaries have “Superior” financial ratings from A.M. Best.¹
Now that we’ve established Nationwide as a quality travel insurance provider, let’s see if what it provides works for your trip and your budget.
Travel insurance, as with other types of insurance, protects your investment (read: money) from loss because of unforeseen circumstances. The more money that’s at risk, the more it makes sense to protect it with an insurance policy.
Travel insurance can protect more than your money, though. It can provide medical coverage in case of an accident or illness while you’re away from home.
The following are some of the reasons you may want to buy travel insurance:
As nearly all destinations worldwide have been affected by COVID-19, Nationwide says canceling a trip for “general concerns related to potential COVID-19 exposure is not generally covered under our travel protection plans.”
However, specific plan terms and reasons for trip cancellation/delay will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis for every claim. That’s because certain elements of your travel insurance plan “may provide coverage if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19, are under quarantine or are traveling to a destination that is currently under a CDC travel restriction.”
Rather than canceling a trip, postponing it due to COVID-19 is another option. Your plan may be extended to cover your new trip dates if your travel is no more than 18 months from the original dates and if you pay the difference in fare (if any) for the adjusted plan.
Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) coverage, added at the time you purchased your plan, may provide certain benefits if you cancel a trip due to COVID-19 concerns. However, this may not result in a 100% refund for all losses you incur. Nationwide says CFAR means “you may be covered for a percentage of the loss in the form of a credit or refund based on the terms of your specific plan.”
A few other situations are worth considering as well:
Nationwide offers 3 main tips of travel insurance plans: single-trip, cruise, and multi-trip.
|Benefit||Essential Plan||Prime Plan|
|Trip Cancellation||Up to $10,000 of prepaid, nonrefundable trip costs||Up to $30,000 of prepaid, nonrefundable trip costs|
|Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR)||N/A||Up to 75% of nonrefundable costs; must add to policy within 21 days of initial deposit (not available in NY or WA)|
|Trip Interruption||Up to 125% of insured costs, maximum of $12,500||Up to 200% of insured costs, maximum of $60,000|
|Trip Delay||$150 per day (up to $600) for delays of 6+ hours||$250 per day (up to $2,000) for delays of 6+ hours|
|Missed Connection/Itinerary Change||N/A||$500|
|Baggage and Personal Effects||$600 maximum ($250 per article limit, $500 for valuable items); coverage is secondary||$2,000 maximum ($250 per article limit, $500 for valuable items); coverage is secondary|
|Baggage Delay||$100 (delays of 12+ hours)||$600 (delays of 12+ hours)|
|Accident and Sickness Medical Expense Coverage (Emergency Only)||$75,000 (coverage is secondary)||$150,000 (coverage is secondary)|
|Emergency Dental||$500 (included in medical expense coverage)||$750 (included in medical expense coverage)|
|Emergency Medical Evacuation / Repatriation of Remains||$250,000||$1,000,000|
|Included Coverage||Terrorism incident at destination, trip cancellation and interruption coverage, travel assistance services||Terrorism incident at destination, trip cancellation and interruption coverage, travel assistance services|
|Optional Add-ons||Financial default, pre-existing condition waiver (must be purchased within 10 days of initial trip deposit)||Financial default and pre-existing condition waiver can be added at no cost within 21 days of initial trip payment|
|Accidental Death and Dismemberment 24-Hour Coverage||$0 (optional add-ons for $5,000, $10,000, or $25,000)||$50,000|
|Accidental Death (Flight Only)||$0 (optional add-ons for $100,000, $250,000, or $500,000)||$0 (optional add-ons for $100,000, $250,000, or $500,000)|
|Rental Car Collision/Loss Coverage (N/A in NY or TX)||$0 (optional add-on for $25,000)||$0 (optional add-on for $35,000)|
|Refund Policy (N/A in NY or WA)||10-day review period||10-day review period|
There are 3 types of plans available for cruisers: Universal, Choice, and Luxury. In addition to typical travel insurance inclusions, these plans have coverage for altered itineraries and even missed shore excursions due to altered itineraries.
|Benefit||Universal Cruise Plan||Choice Cruise Plan||Luxury Cruise Plan|
|Trip Cancellation||Up to 100% of nonrefundable trip costs||Up to 100% of nonrefundable trip costs||Up to 100% of nonrefundable trip costs|
|Trip Interruption||Up to 125% of nonrefundable trip costs||Up to 150% of nonrefundable trip costs||Up to 150% of nonrefundable trip costs|
|Interruption for Any Reason||$250||$500||$1,000|
|Missed Connection/Trip Delay||$500*/$500|
*After a delay of 3 hours or more
*After a delay of 3 hours or more
*After a delay of 3 hours or more
|Itinerary Changes Impacting Cruise Experience||$100||$200||$250|
|Itinerary Changes After Departure Causing You To Miss Prepaid Excursion||$250||$500||$1,000|
|Emergency Accident and Sickness Medical Expense (Secondary Coverage for Sickness)||$75,000||$100,000||$150,000|
|Emergency Medical Evacuation||$250,000||$500,000||$1,000,000|
|Lost/Stolen Baggage||$1,500 (limits of $300 per item and $600 for special items)||$2,500 (limits of $300 per item and $600 for special items)||$2,500 (limits of $500 per item and $1,000 for special items)|
|Baggage Delay||$250 (delays of 8+ hours)||$500 (delays of 8+ hours)||$1,000 (delays of 6+ hours)|
|Cancellation/Interruption Covered Reasons||Weather, extension of school term, work reasons, terrorism in itinerary city||Weather, extension of school term, work reasons, terrorism in itinerary city||Weather, extension of school term, work reasons, terrorism in itinerary city, CDC health warning for your destination|
|Accidental Death and Dismemberment||N/A||$25,000||$25,000|
|Preexisting Condition Waiver||N/A||If purchased within 14 days of initial trip deposit and other requirements are met||If purchased within 14 days of initial trip deposit and other requirements are met|
|Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR)||N/A||Available at additional cost, varies by plan details||Available at additional cost; covers up to 75% of nonrefundable costs; must cancel at least 2 days before departure|
|Refund Policy (N/A in NY or WA)||10-day review period||10-day review period||10-day review period|
There are 3 types of annual insurance policies available: Pro, Plus, and Pro Deluxe. Interestingly, only the Plus plan includes an option for trip cancellation. The other 2 plans don’t offer this.
These plans include a $7 nonrefundable processing fee and aren’t available to residents of AK, CA, MT, or SC, or those 81+ years old. Plans must start in or include a stop in the U.S. and must be 30 days or less in duration.
|Benefit||Travel Pro Plan||Travel Plus Plan||Travel Pro Deluxe Plan|
|Trip Delay||$200 per person, per trip||$200 per person, per trip||$200 per person, per trip|
|Trip Cancellation||N/A||Options from $1,250 to $10,000 annual limit||N/A|
|Emergency Medical||$10,000 per person, per trip||$10,000 per person, per trip||$20,000 per person, per trip|
|Emergency Medical Evacuation||$50,000 per person, per trip||$50,000 per person, per trip||$250,000 per person, per trip|
|Repatriation of Remains||$50,000 per person, per trip||$50,000 per person, per trip||$250,000 per person, per trip|
|Baggage/Personal Effects||$500 per person, per trip||$500 per person, per trip||$1,000 per person, per trip|
|Baggage and Sporting Equipment Delay||$100 per person, per trip||$100 per person, per trip||$250 per person, per trip|
|Accidental Death and Dismemberment||$10,000 per person, per trip||$10,000 per person, per trip||$25,000 per person, per trip|
|Travel Assistance Services||Included||Included||Included|
To get a quote, head to the Nationwide travel insurance page and click on Get started.
The next page will ask you what type of plan you need.
Once you choose a plan type, you’ll provide information about the traveler(s) age(s), state of residence, and total trip cost. You’ll also include a date for the initial deposit and intended final payment date for your trip. For cruise and single-trip plans, you’ll also include a destination and dates of travel. Cruise trips also ask what line you’re sailing with.
The next page will show available plan options and let you compare them for coverage maximums and inclusions.
If you click on the text for a coverage amount in the chart, a pop-up window shows details. Here’s the description for the optional add-on for Cancel for Any Reason (CFAR) coverage.
Once you choose a plan, click on Buy this plan at the top, near the cost. On the next page, you’ll need to agree to certain disclosures and provide the names, birth dates, and contact information for the insured travelers.
If the detailed traveler information you provide doesn’t match what you originally included when obtaining the quote, the price may change. If that happens, you’ll see a message stating so at the top of the final payment page.
On this final page, you’ll provide your billing address and credit card number to complete the payment.
It’s possible that you have a credit card with travel insurance. This type of coverage may be sufficient for small, simple, or inexpensive trips, but it doesn’t offer everything that a comprehensive travel insurance policy covers when it comes to more complex itineraries.
For comparison, we’ll put Nationwide’s best policy side-by-side with 2 premium credit cards with robust insurance coverage: The Platinum Card® from American Express and the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Before we get started, note that enrollment may be required for some of the Amex benefits described below.
And while you’ll pay to get a separate travel insurance policy, there’s no fee for the insurance perks built into these credit cards. They come as part of the cards’ annual fees.
|Coverage||Amex Platinum Card||Chase Sapphire Reserve Card||Nationwide Prime Plan|
|Car Rental Insurance||Secondary coverage with the option to purchase Premium Protection||Primary coverage||Primary coverage (optional add-on)|
|Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance||Up to $10,000 per trip, up to $20,000 per 12-month period||
Up to $10,000 per person, up to $20,000 per trip
|Trip Delay Reimbursement||Up to $500 per person on delays of 6+ hours, limit of 2 claims per 12-month period||Up to $500 per ticket on delays of 6+ hours||Up to $250 per day (up to $2,000) for delays of 6+ hours|
|Baggage Loss/Damage Insurance||Up to $3,000 per person for luggage (up to $2,000 maximum for checked luggage); up to $1,000 per person maximum on high-value items|
Up to $2,000 per bag per each person maximum for New York residents, including a $10,000 aggregate maximum for all covered bags and covered persons on the trip
|Up to $3,000 per person, with a $500 cap on jewelry and watches and a $500 cap on cameras and other electronic equipment||Up to $2,000 maximum ($250 per article limit, $500 for valuable items); coverage is secondary|
|Baggage Delay Insurance||N/A||Up to $100 per day, maximum of 5 days for delays of 6+ hours||$600 (delays of 12+ hours)|
|Emergency Medical and Dental||N/A||$2,500 with a $50 deductible||$150,000, with a maximum of $750 for dental|
|Emergency Evacuation||Can be provided for you at no cost if coordinated through the Premium Global Assist Hotline||Up to $100,000||$1,000,000|
|Accidental Death and Dismemberment (Travel Accident Insurance)||Up to $500,000 per person on common carrier travel||Up to $1,000,000 per person on common carrier travel||$50,000 for 24-hour coverage, optional add-on for flights|
|Travel and Emergency Assistance||Included||Included||Included|
At first glance, it looks like these credit cards provide robust coverage. However, some of these coverage items are secondary, meaning you’d need to deal with other insurance providers first, such as your homeowner’s insurance or personal vehicle insurance, and then deal with your credit card’s insurance provider for any expenses not yet reimbursed or to cover the deductible on other policies. Having your car insurance rates go up because of a claim related to your vacation could be frustrating. Travel insurance policies, as primary coverage, mean you would deal with the travel insurance provider first.
Nationwide’s Prime Plan provides more robust travel insurance coverage in several key areas: trip cancellation, trip interruption, emergency medical, and emergency evacuation.
To compare Nationwide to other travel insurance companies, we obtained a quote for a couple, ages 38 and 36, traveling to Mexico for a 1-week trip that costs $2,000 (with the original payment made today). Note that the costs you see for a policy can vary, based on factors like age, trip cost, number of people covered, and where you reside.
We started our search with Squaremouth, a travel insurance comparison website analyzing numerous policies to help you find the right one. We listed a departure date 3 months in advance, an original deposit date the same day, and the state of residence as Arizona.
All 3 plans include COVID-19 coverage and 100% trip cancellation coverage. Nationwide’s travel insurance Prime Plan had the middle cost of the 3 options, yet it includes the best trip interruption level (200%, rather than 150% or 125% for the others). Nationwide also has the best coverage for financial default: 10 days wait, rather than 14 with Seven Corners Trip Protection Choice and no coverage with Generali Global Assistance Travel Insurance Standard.
Lastly, Nationwide has better coverage than Seven Corners for hurricane and weather, but the best coverage includes delays of “any time” with Generali — which also has the cheapest plan.
You can file a Nationwide claim online. Under File a personal insurance claim, find the button for File a claim.
The next page outlines the process for filing a claim, including the basic information you’ll provide, uploading documents, and then reviewing before submission.
Nationwide is a household name in insurance, and it offers multiple types of travel insurance to cater to different needs. While it doesn’t offer extreme sports-focused plans or numerous additional add-ons to customize everything you want, plans cover most of what you’re looking for when choosing a single-trip, multi-trip, or cruise-focused plan.
Within each plan type, you can choose different levels to save money with common coverage amounts or pay more to increase the maximum payout limits. This can be handy if you’re traveling to remote areas, have an increased risk of injury or illness during your trip, or have expensive items in your luggage.
Travel insurance options can feel countless. Ensure you check multiple plan types and coverage levels — as well as competing insurance companies — to find the plan that fits your needs and your budget.
For the baggage insurance plan benefit of the Amex Platinum card, baggage insurance plan coverage can be in effect for covered persons for eligible lost, damaged, or stolen baggage during their travel on a common carrier vehicle (e.g. plane, train, ship, or bus) when the Entire Fare for a ticket for the trip (one-way or round-trip) is charged to an eligible card. Coverage can be provided for up to $2,000 for checked baggage and up to a combined maximum of $3,000 for checked and carry-on baggage, in excess of coverage provided by the common carrier. The coverage is also subject to a $3,000 aggregate limit per covered trip. For New York State residents, there is a $2,000 per bag/suitcase limit for each covered person with a $10,000 aggregate maximum for all covered persons per covered trip. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.
For the car rental loss and damage insurance benefit of the Amex Platinum card, car rental loss and damage insurance can provide coverage up to $75,000 for theft of or damage to most rental vehicles when you use your eligible card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver or similar option offered by the commercial car rental company. This product provides secondary coverage and does not include liability coverage. Not all vehicle types or rentals are covered. Geographic restrictions apply. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company. Car Rental Loss or Damage Coverage is offered through American Express Travel Related Services Company, Inc.
For the premium global assist hotline benefit of the Amex Platinum card, eligibility and benefit level varies by Card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. If approved and coordinated by premium global assist hotline, emergency medical transportation assistance may be provided at no cost. In any other circumstance, card members may be responsible for the costs charged by third-party service providers.
For the trip delay insurance benefit of the Amex Platinum card, up to $500 per covered trip that is delayed for more than 6 hours; and 2 claims per eligible card per 12 consecutive month period. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
For the trip cancellation and interruption insurance benefit of the Amex Platinum card, the maximum benefit amount for trip cancellation and interruption insurance is $10,000 per covered trip and $20,000 per eligible card per 12 consecutive month period. Eligibility and benefit level varies by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Underwritten by New Hampshire Insurance Company, an AIG Company.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.
Nationwide has cruise-specific plans. These are single-trip plans and cover things like itinerary changes and suspension of services, plus other issues you may encounter.
FlexPlus is available for U.K. residents only. If anyone on the plan is 70 or older, you’ll need to purchase an age extension.
Yes, it can. Depending on the policy, coverage amounts will vary.
The Prime Plan can cover adventure sports.
You can purchase plans up to the day before your departure. However, options for coverage diminish as time passes from your original trip deposit.
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Ryan has been on a quest to visit every country in the world and plans to hit his final country in 2023. Over the years, he’s written about award travel for publications including AwardWallet, The Points Guy, USA Today Blueprint, CNBC Select, Tripadvisor, and Forbes Advisor.
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